Bad surface and false starts?

  1. How do you overcome a terrible running surface? The track that my school section competes on is TERRIBLE. I would equate it to running in the hallways. The floor cannot be gripped by any type of shoe and it’s impossible to start properly. How does one overcome this? I’m frustrated because I ran 7.0ht in time trails (on a proper track) but on this track I run 7.66 FAT.

  2. How do you deal with false starts? In my heat there were two false starts and a call back (due to timer malfunction) so I felt drained for my race. How do you overcome multiple false starts?

For both situations your screwed. Well the false starts you have to just relax and hope nobody jumps cause fs does take something out ya. The track…take your times with a grain of salt. You know the track is ass so why expect fast times. I wouldn’t even run hard until I got to a real track if yours is that bad

Back some years, when many indoor facilities had boards, not Mondo, in many places you were not allowed to use spikes of any kind or length, period. There was a particular type of shoe called an indoor (or more precisely, indoor/outdoor) spike, which was like a flat, except it had a spike plate, and spike receptacles that were recessed so they could be covered when not allowed to be used. There were also specific indoor blocks, which you can still buy.

There actually are some “spikeless spikes” around yet, and I wonder if they might help you. I think they could provide some traction on surfaces like school hallways, where regular spikes would be useless. This is not intended to be all-inclusive, but this is a list of spikeless track shoes:

I’m sure I’m not the only one here who can remember these things.

And you think you had it bad with false starts, this is the WHOLE video of Donovan’s 9.84WR in 1996, with all of Christie’s (ahem) “theatrics”. You have to see the video, because if I told you the story, you’d never believe it (and if you never saw this, it is something you HAVE to see, at least once:

And remember that after all of this, Donovan got out of the blocks DFL…and still broke the world record.

How about Jon drummond’s last race?

Could it be that your hand timed result was actually more like 7.4? I’ve had plenty of official hand timed races as much as half a second out…

Hi there,

Where do you live? Can you get into an open meet nearby on a decent surface at some point, or will you be running at other facilities soon?

Also, was your time trial a standing start timed from first motion? I always add .65 to a hand time to get a worst case scenario for a FAT time. If this was your first race, I would say don’t be hard on yourself. It usually takes a good 5 or 6 races to find out where you’re at in the 60, especially if you’re new to racing.


The guys are giving you great advice regarding your questions.
Remember that everyone running against you will be in the same situation so your job is to try make the most out of what you have available at any given moment. Competing is a game and often there are aspects of competition you are not able to control. The majority of the time you will spend training so all you need to do is go out and repeat what you have been doing in practice the best way you are able. You will not always have ideal circumstances but you might be able to choose those circumstances ( but maybe not) . Your frustration is normal but don’t loose site of your goals from one race as T Slow has mentioned. Try and put your efforts in perspective and move ahead. One thing that helped me enormously was the idea that " time and chance must meet". Performance takes time , over time and you need to keep at it in order to get the final result you are looking for. The only way you will achieve you end goal is to hang in and keep trying.
2) AGain, what you can control is yourself. Don’t fall into the trap of what others are doing. False starts help no one. You can’t control timer malfunctions either. Just focus on repeating what you know and that is your job. Nothing more. Experience will give you more perspective and allow you to understand the idea of overcoming anything is simply your ability to shut out everything around you and focus on what needs to be done. Try not to let others suck the life out of you as their race has very little to do with you.
Tension and Stress will drain you like no other thing. Don’t let all this crap take the fun and enjoyment out of it either.

I just got back from across the US. Thanks for the advice everyone! Occasionally my team does go to meets in the Armory but the older athletes are usually picked to run in the 55m so I usually just run in relays. Also, what bugs me is that on an outdoor track me and some of the kids in my grade are equals but when we change to the indoor track that we compete on I am the only one that gets affected. Regardless, I will take all of your advice into consideration and once again thank you for helping out a new kid